Proximity Marketing: Connect with Buyers Just in Time
Proximity marketing is one way businesses, especially retailers, can produce near one-on-one marketing experiences with consumers. The notion of a “segment of one” in marketing is a bit utopian, but the rewards of creating tactics to get closer and closer to connecting with buyers just in time are well worth the investment. By knowing location and time, even with limited or no additional demographic information, businesses can make assumptions about consumers. These assumptions help them more accurately target their messages.

Proximity marketing, sometimes called location marketing, is wireless distribution of advertising in a specific place. The ad content transmissions are received by on enabled devices (mobile phone, Bluetooth or Wi-Fi device) in which the prospective consumer has opted in to receive them…or at least not opted out on their device’s settings. In some cases, this may be in conjunction with the use of a mobile app.

Examples of Proximity Marketing

Even without the use of a mobile app, proximity marketing has boundless applications. Here are a few examples of how this technology can be implemented:

  • Conference or convention – change messages broadcast to attendees based on what breakout sessions are happening. Perhaps at a home and garden show, if the main stage features a celebrity landscaper, then ads might broadcast time-sensitive discounts for people who shop online (or at a booth) for that celebrity’s products.

  • Concerts – When do people want to buy music? While they are at a concert! Broadcast of discounts for online or offline shopping for music, T-shirts, and other fan paraphernalia are effective when the artist is onstage.

  • Restaurant – 30 minutes after diners enter a family restaurant, offer dessert deals.

  • Retail – As a customer enters the automotive area of a store, offer discounts on products found in that area.

There are secondary market opportunities for proximity marketing technology. Consider these ideas for enterprising businesses to sell ad space:

  • Hotel – Restaurants tend to locate themselves next to hotels, especially when hotels don’t have their own restaurants. Hotels can sell proximity marketing broadcasts to the restaurants. For example, when a customer enters the hotel between 5:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m., they receive an advertisement for the steak house across the street.

  • Shopping Malls – Malls are full of people interested in spending money and getting deals. What better place to sell advertising to stores. A mall can be divided into multiple localized areas to offer ads for stores that are in the immediate vicinity

  • Car Parking Garage – When most people return to their car after a long day at work, they think about going straight home or worse, the errands they have to run before getting home. Usually they are tired and hungry or at least thirsty. Surely there are some drive-thru fast food restaurants very near the garage that would be willing to buy the privilege to offer discounts to all those weary commuters.
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